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Old 07-31-2011, 05:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Something new

Well after doing saltwater for a long time the wife and I are thinking of changing over to a planted tank. Tank is 60"x36"x13" single glass internal overflow down to 25 gallon sump. I've been doing alot of research and it appears we can reuse all this without any major issues.
For lighting we have a 400 watt halide over the tank approx 18" above. Now i'm sure im going to have to change bulb to a more plant friendly temp. Will that be too much light? And we will be doing CO2 for sure sooner than later. What is going to be the best substrate without taking out a mortage on the house? Here is a pic of the tank when it was first being setup as saltwater. Thanks for all the help Mike
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Something new

3.3 wpg is a lot light for a large tank, but I don't dose CO2. I had a 125 that did wonderfully with 156 watts of T5-HO over it, and I tried lighting in the 234-312 watt range over the same tank and usually encountered algae over the 1.8 wpg range (I use much higher lighting in my small tanks). But again, this was non-CO2.

Since you don't seem to be going the NPT route, I can't recommend a substrate with confidence, but I have used well-rinsed sand in one tank and Black-Diamond brand blasting grit in two others with great results as a substrate cap (using a yard soil - potting mix underlayer).

Good luck with the scape; the dimensions seem very nice for a nature-themed layout.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Something new

This could make an extraordinary design with an island rising above the surface of the water, planted with emersed species.

If you can move the light higher, that will reduce the brightness. Does the metal halide cast even light over the whole tank? You could plant high-light species or ones with emersed growth directly under the light (water lilies!), and put lower-light plants around the edges where light might be less intense.

What fun!
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Something new

Firstly - Glad to meet you. I see this is your first post.

That is such a cool looking tank. It would be a great paludarium. You certainly have the depth for it. I also think you could move the light higher. At 13" I think you will be looking at some of your plants coming out of the water. Since that means unlimited CO2 I think you will be ok with higher light. You could use soil under an inert rock cap. It is very cheap and will provide nutrients.

Keep us posted.

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